Don Imus, one of the city’s longest-running radio shock jocks, is calling it a career.
“March 29th, 2018, will be the last ‘Imus in the Morning Program.’ Turn out the lights…the party’s over,” was the announcement from the show’s Twitter account Monday morning.
Imus has been an almost continuous presence on the NYC airwaves for more than 45 years, surviving several controversial incidents. The biggest firestorm came in April 2007 after he referred to the players on the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hoes.” Initially he just got slapped with a two-week suspension, but as the public outcry continued he was fired by CBS, which owned the station, and MSNBC, which simulcast his show.
The consequences didn’t last long, however, because less than eight months later, he was back on the air with WABC-AM, with Senators John McCain and Chris Dodd on the first show, no less. That version of the show was run on the Fox Business Network from 2009 until 2015.
The Observer reported Monday that the 77-year-old’s resignation was not voluntary, but rather a result of Cumulus Media not renewing his contract.
Imus began his NYC career in 1971 with WNBC before moving to WFAN in 1988. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.